Paperback, 199 pages, Feiwel & Friends, $9.99, published April 24 2012 | purchase close Purchase Featured BooksHole in My LifeJack Gantos Amazon »iBookstore »Independent Booksellers
»Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How? Some of you may know Jack Gantos as the winner of the 2012 Newbery Medal or as the author of the beloved children’s picture book Rotten Ralph and the Joey Pigza series.
So you might not know that when Gantos was 19, he went to federal prison for smuggling 2,000 pounds of hashish on a sailboat from the Virgin Islands to New York City. This is Gantos’ memoir of those years, the story of a smart, passionate kid who makes the ultimate mistake and then makes his way out. The book is a page-turner even though we know what happens in the end (Gantos gets caught, serves his prison sentence and goes on to become a wildly successful writer of award-winning books for children), and Gantos tells it straight, refusing to glamorize or wax preachy. His recreation of his youthful self is an impressive feat of narration that will feel authentic to even the most cynical teens and endear any adult who remembers being invincible.
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